Monday Evening Edition 11/23/09

JOURNALISTS AMONG THOSE MASSACRED IN PHILIPPINES: At least 30 bodies found — including a dozen journalists — many beheaded.

“This is a gruesome massacre of civilians unequaled in recent history,” said Jesus Dureza, a Maguindanao province official. “There must be a total stop to this senseless violence and carnage.” [LA Times report]

Philippine elections are particularly violent in the south because of the presence of armed groups, including Muslim rebels fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation, and political warlords who maintain private armies. The decades-long Muslim insurgency has killed about 120,000 people since the 1970s. But a presidential adviser, Jesus Dureza, said Monday’s massacre was “unequaled in recent history.” [AP via Editor & Publisher]


GOOGLE DOESN’T NEED MURDOCH: Wired’s Eliot Van Buskirk says of reported News Corp-Microsoft anti-Google alliance (see lead item in today’s noon update) — “In the short term, this could be disastrous to News Corp’s publications”:

Google doesn’t need the news — or, to be more precise, it doesn’t need any specific news source. If bloggers have taught the world anything, it’s that one journalist’s facts can become the basis of another journalist’s story. (Case in point: This article is a follow-up to the Financial Times article and includes similar information, albeit with another layer of analysis.) If the Wall Street Journal becomes invisible to Google, people who go there to find the news will simply click on articles from other publications that cover the same story.

In order for Murdoch’s plan to succeed, a critical mass of larger news publishers will need to join this effort, as Microsoft is apparently asking them to do (neither News Corp nor Microsoft is commenting on this story). Although highly unlikely, Google could potentially join Microsoft in paying for the right to list these “premium” news articles if not doing so means losing access to a large chunk of current events.

More likely, Google will refuse to pay and news consumers will prefer to access whatever news Google offers for free rather than switching to Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see whatever articles Microsoft paid to index. The end result: a sort of reverse ghetto, in which established news outlets are confined to websites run by their Microsoft paymasters, while publications that allow any search engine to surface their content become more popular. Trying to save mainstream news publications in this way could ultimately hurt them.

Also: Is anti-Google bid doomed? [Atlantic]. Bing not likely to beat Google [Newosaur]:

Would newspapers risk slipping further into irrelevance among readers and advertisers by denying their articles to 71% of the world’s search traffic? I hope not.

And: NY Times report.


HACKED E-MAILS: Of note to the climate-change debate, but more significant as a reminder that those quick little e-mails never go away. [CNN]

MSNBC BUYS TWITTER FEED: @BreakingNews has 1.4 million followers. [Mashable]

FLASH MOB FOR LITERACY: “Literacy Freeze” in Philadelphia.

From Philadelphia Weekly: “Those who don’t have that higher level of literacy are left vulnerable to manipulative charlatans like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.”


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